RaboDirect PRO12: Ulster head into play-offs on high with win at Munster

Last Updated: 10/05/14 10:09pm

  • Share:
James McKinney (left): Ulster fly-half kicked 14 points

James McKinney (left): Ulster fly-half kicked 14 points

Sky Bet

Rob Penney's final home game at Thomond Park ended in defeat as Munster fell to a 19-17 defeat against a fired-up second string Ulster side.

The departing head coach watched his charges lose this tight inter-provincial affair, although a victory would not have mattered anyway given that Glasgow sealed second place by demolishing Zebre in a bonus-point win.

An Ian Keatley penalty and Duncan Williams' converted try put Munster in the ascendancy, before Ulster's Michael Heaney crossed with James McKinney's conversion and penalty levelling matters at 10-10 at the interval.

MAGIC WEEKEND

The destiny of this season's Premier League title will be decided LIVE on Sky Sports this Sunday - just one piece of drama playing out on a wonderful weekend of sport. Add in the Spanish Grand Prix, the Sky Bet Football League play-offs, the Players Championship, La Liga title race and more and Sky Sports is the only place to be. You can upgrade to Sky Sports or buy a day pass through NOW TV to watch all this fantastic live action.

Sean Dougall's seven-pointer moved the hosts back in front, but nine more points from McKinney's reliable boot proved decisive as Ulster recorded their first season's double over Munster since 2009.

Munster are away to in-form Glasgow in next week's play-offs and they will have to raise their game significantly from this showing.

Ulster, who finished the regular RaboDirect PRO12 season in fourth, will have renewed hope for their own semi-final trip to winners Leinster.

Changes

With both sides having already secured their play-off spots, there were wholesale changes for this round 22 date.

Ulster head coach Mark Anscombe made 12 changes to the team that narrowly lost to Leinster, while Penney brought in 10 new faces to the side that thumped Edinburgh 55-12.

Despite a sloppy opening, the hosts took the lead in the 11th minute when Keatley successfully kicked a penalty after an infringement.

And soon after, the game's first try arrived from a superb interchange of passing between James Downey and James Coughlan which sent scrum half Williams over in the corner.

Although Keatley brilliantly converted from the touchline to put Munster 10-0 up, Ulster hit back as the home defence were caught napping following a turnover and Heaney crossed to reduce the deficit.

The try was given following consultation over the receiving pass from Michael Allen and McKinney added the extras to make it 10-7.

On 36 minutes, Ulster tied a scrappy and error-ridden match when McKinney landed a penalty from just inside the Munster half.

Pounced

McKinney then kicked the visitors ahead after the restart with another penalty, but Munster responded immediately with seven points.

Dougall pounced on Keatley's grubber kick through and the latter nailed his third consecutive kick to regain the lead at 17-13.

However, McKinney grabbed his fourth and fifth successive kicks to put the Ulstermen 19-17 in front with 15 minutes to go.

Despite an increased effort, Munster were unable to claw victory from defeat as replacement JJ Hanrahan missed a last minute drop goal and injury-time penalty attempt from halfway.

Having lost to Glasgow recently, it was Munster's first time to taste back-to-back league defeats at Thomond Park since April 2010.

  • Share:

Related

RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 Round 22

Jonathan Davies: Scarlets centre leaving for Clermont Auvergne

Davies departs in style

Jonathan Davies was given a winning send-off in his Scarlets farewell as his side beat Cardiff Blues 27-15.

Jason Tovey: Kicked two penalties and two conversions for the Dragons

Dragons sneak past Treviso

Newport Gwent Dragons finally got a victory in the RaboDirect Pro12 as they battled to beat a stubborn Treviso 20-19.

Stuart Hogg: Touched down for a try inside a minute

Glasgow put Zebre to sword

Glasgow Warriors beat Zebre 54-0 to secure their first-ever home berth for a play-off quarter-final.

Most Popular

Features

Watt: Golovkin's super step-up

Watt: Golovkin's super step-up

Gennady Golovkin could move up to super-middleweight after beating Daniel Geale, says Jim Watt.

Heavyweight Hopes

Heavyweight Hopes

We will get up, close and personal with him in Anthony Joshua Heavyweight Hopes, soon.

Home highlights

Home highlights

The Ringside team looks back at two of the best fights on home soil of 2014, so far...